Monday, May 24, 2010

Looking for a Hero?

I’m taking a class this month taught by author Angela Knight on Writing the Erotic Romance. She opens the class by focusing on the hero, who he is and what readers are looking for within this genre. She says, “The engine that drives a hot erotic romance is the hero. He’s the handsome, broad-shouldered sexual athlete who seduces the reader and makes her wonder what it would be like to know his love.”

This got me to thinking about my own writing. My first book started out with my identification with the heroine, similar to my experience as a reader, where I could put myself in the heroine’s shoes as I traveled throughout the story with her. But as I worked my way through that first story, I discovered the joy of falling in love with my hero for myself. If you think that experience is fun as a reader, its is so much more immediate as a writer. My stories have been hero-focused ever since.

That’s not to say that my heroines are neglected—they are well-rounded characters who often grow into their own strength throughout my stories. My heroines are coming into their own, finding their footing, and learning to trust themselves and their instincts. But my heroes? Well, they’re just delicious. :)

The heroes are the characters that fascinate me, and I often delve into their pov because that’s what I like to read. Often dark, occasionally brooding, naughty senses of humor, and masters of their own lives, my heroes often have that one special thing the heroine needs (No, not that! Dirty minds. Okay, well, not ONLY that. :) ) My hope is that someday, someone besides myself will fall in love with my heroes too.


So let’s talk heroes today. Do you have a favorite romance novel hero? What is your favorite type (soldier, policeman, CEO, Sheikh, cowboy)? What do you least like in your heroes?

I’ll start off: I’m a sucker for the bad boy types, and my favorite heroes are any of JR Wards Black Dagger Brotherhood warriors and Linda Howard’s Gray Rouillard From After The Night. I least like them to be total assholes. I’m all for strong heroes, but he has to convince me that he has the heroine’s best interests at heart, and that he has a tender side (even if she’s the only one to ever see it).


P.S. I'm blogging tomorrow with the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood and I'd love to see you there!


Playground Monitor said...

I'm right there with you on those a$$hole heroes. I have enough a$$holes in my life; I don't want to read about them.

I like all sorts of heroes -- just make him have a chink in his armor the heroine can fix.

Roxanne St. Claire writes some wonderfully yummy heroes who are bodyguards. I think Dan Gallagher in HUNT HER DOWN is my fave. Actually Dan's character appeared in a number of books in a peripheral role, but in HHD he finally got his story told.

Instigator said...

I'm a sucker for a bad boy. Although, I'm not sure I actually write bad boys. I mean, they might have some bad boy moments but they aren't as stoicly alpha as a true bad boy should be (at least I don't think so).

I've just recently come to the Black Dagger Brotherhood and have to say I'm enjoying those men. Very...male.


Smarty Pants said...

I heard an editor say once that she can learn a lot about a writer by what kind of hero she creates. Change the job, the name, the hair color, but underneath it all, its always basically the same hero because its what the writer is attracted to.

My heroes always tend to be protective types - cop, detective, former military. I've had a couple non-cops, but they always step up and take the role when the heroine is in jeopardy. Strong, stubborn, sarcastic and easy going despite a past that may haunt them in one way or another. They have to be a solid, unflappable character to cope with the eccentric and neurotic heroines I pair them with.

No billionare shieiks in my books because I guess I want to read about a man that can actually exist.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Alpha all the way. Whether he's military or a billionaire sheikh (yep, getting ready to write one of those, SP!), he's tough and hot and always in control. Until the heroine makes him lose control. Oh, oh, oh.

I write Beauty and the Beast. It's what I love to read, and what I've always written. :)

Problem Child said...

Well, I love an alpha :-)

And I've written a couple of bad-boy (ish) alphas that I just adored.

I like them strong and sure and confident until the heroine just knocks them sideways.

Angel said...

Yep, the heroine has to be able to find that chink in the armor. Otherwise, what's the point? If he's an island, he has no need for her.

Instigator, MALE is exactly the word I'd use. They aren't even really men; they simply epitomize male. Yet, they've been through all kinds of crap. I think one of the keys to making them heroic is that they live to protect others. They may be stoic, sarcastic, touchy, and often just plain rude, but they understand the honor and duty of protecting those weaker than themselves. Eventually this extends on a more personal level to the heroine, even though she's often capable of taking care of herself.